Kurtz Dances Around Fox News' Benghazi Fixation

Fox News' Howard Kurtz posed a provocative and very carefully worded question to his panel of media analysts on the September 15 edition of Media Buzz. With the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks and the attacks in Benghazi so recently behind us, Kurtz asked his guests: “Some media outlets, particularly conservative ones, also made note -- extensive note of the first anniversary of the Benghazi attacks, which also occurred on September 11. Fair enough? Or too much prominence given the magnitude of what happened in 2001?”

“Some media outlets, particularly conservative ones.” To what could he possibly have been referring?

Since joining Fox News, Kurtz has been notably reticent to openly criticize the network. Fox News' absurdly politicized and grossly opportunistic Benghazi coverage -- in this past week and the 51 weeks that preceded it -- is as ripe a target for critique as you're going to find and it was clearly on Kurtz's radar, but he deliberately shot wide and gingerly tip-toed around the obvious point to be made. 

Kurtz knows how much the network has invested in keeping Benghazi in the news. He was part of the Fox News Sunday panel on September 8 when Karl Rove started literally yelling falsehoods about Benghazi after Juan Williams pointed out that many of the “scandals” surrounding the attack were political hit jobs. Fox News spent the rest of the week banging the Benghazi drums, keeping already debunked Benghazi myths alive and looking for any reason to say the words “Benghazi” and “scandal” on the air. Benghazi even showed up on a Fox News calendar of events “competing for attention,” alongside Monday Night Football and the launch of the new iPhone.

But Kurtz is part of the Fox News family now, and while he may feel the urge to criticize the Benghazi coverage coming from his colleagues, he still can't come right out and say it.